The study, done by Monash University of cyclists in Victoria, Australia, found that painted bike lanes do not deter car drivers from coming too close to bicycles. And people ride their bikes less when they do not feel safe. The answer is clear: bike lanes must be protected in order to create true safety for bike riders.
Here in Austin, Texas, as in many places around the United States, we’re lucky if we even get those white lines. Which we now know do not work well enough. Nearly getting hit by cars while I was in the bike lane twice in the last two makes this a hot topic for me, one that I’m hot under the collar about. Why? Because I spoke to both drivers, and they’re responses were infuriating. Come on inside this post and I’ll tell you about it.
One of the blogs I follow is one I find hard to read. That’s because it seems like most days BikingInLA usually has coverage of a bicyclist fatality . It’s a major downer for me, and I’m sure everyone. But it’s important to hold the City of Angels and car drivers’ feet to the fire. Also, the author has a ton of other good stuff in there. If you can get past the gloom and doom, it’s worth a read. Here are a few Texas stories I found and thought I’d share with y’all. Thanks, BikingInLA! Keep fighting the good fight.
This sad news came across my screen, and I just sat and stared at it. She was 28 years old, hit by a car Thursday night. Now, gone. The details are scant and will trickle in. Here’s an updated story from the NBC affiliate, KXAN: “Cyclists push for change after fatal MLK Blvd crash.” The story says she wasn’t wearing a helmet and the car driver stayed on the scene. Despite this tragedy, riding a bike in Austin is still very safe compared to driving and walking. That won’t help Jessica, but maybe it will help others of us who do still bike.
I’m sitting outside a 7-11 late on a Wednesday, just down the street from the huge football stadium on the University of Texas campus. It’s where a cyclist, aged 39, with a helmet and lights on both the front and back of his bike, was hit, dragged under and trapped by a Capital Metro bus Monday night. It was there that he died. I just learned about this horrible tragedy tonight, and so I biked over here – a place I ride by regularly. I’m mad and sad, yet relieved it was not me. Because it could have been me. That doesn’t help Anthony, his friends, family and others who knew him. Continue reading
Today’s main local paper Austin American-Statesman had an article titled “Austin’s strategic mobility plan hits home stretch.” It looks at ways to improve bike lanes, sidewalks, public transit and even roads so that people can move about the city better. The deadline for answering a poll about the plan is Sunday, January 13th, so the update is welcome. It also reveals some cracks in the fuselage.
(Is anyone getting my Planes, Trains and Automobiles reference? Hello, anyone? We miss you, John Candy.) Minor things like how will it be paid for, and will people agree to give up car lanes. A Dude has some thoughts, so let’s take off, eh, hosers? Continue reading
Bikes Are Colorblind, They Just Want to Be Ridden
It’s Black History Month in the United States of America, so it would be bad form for a progressive to not pay homage to that (which I did earlier when mentioning the impact of the Black Panther movie) Some people have the mistaken belief that only rich white men in Spandex ride bicycles. They are wrong.
Where I live, I frequently see people of color riding bicycles, usually at night, apparently commuting home from work. They usually don’t have lights or helmets or fancy bikes. But they are cyclists just the same, risking their lives to go about their lives, which includes transporting themselves with their own people power. Leonel Hernandez, who died last month, was one of them.
Today, within the space of 10 minutes, I met a black dude named Ivory and a couple from Thailand named Nukul and Rung, each on a bike. You really meet the coolest people on bikes — of whatever color, status or nationality. You never would probably barely even see them from your motorized steel pollution cage.
Cyclist Dies, No One Goes to Jail. Again.
The local newspaper reported yesterday, February 15, 2018, that “Bicyclist found lying injured in Southeast Austin yard was likely hit by car, police say.” The piece quoted heavily from a statement by the Austin Police Department:
“A bicyclist who died last month was likely struck by a hit-and-run driver.”
The article in the Austin American-Statesman is by breaking news reporter Katie Hall. It goes on to say: Continue reading